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The Effects of Post-Consumer Waste Polystyrene on the Rate of Mealworm Consumption

Green et al. | Nov 29, 2018

The Effects of Post-Consumer Waste Polystyrene on the Rate of Mealworm Consumption

In a world where plastic waste accumulation is threatening both land and sea life, Green et al. investigate the ability of mealworms to breakdown polystyrene, a non-recyclable form of petrochemical-based polymer we use in our daily lives. They confirm that these organisms, can degrade various forms of polystyrene, even after it has been put to use in our daily lives. Although the efficiency of the degradation process still requires improvement, the good news is, the worms are tiny and themselves are biodegradable, so we can use plenty of them without worrying about space and how to get rid of them. This is very promising and certainly good news for the planet.

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Determining the Habitable Zone Around a Star

Lee et al. | May 29, 2013

Determining the Habitable Zone Around a Star

Life requires many things, including a hospitable temperature, elements, and energy. Here the authors utilize Newton's laws of physics and information relating a star's luminosity and temperature to determine the minimum and maximum masses and luminosities of planets and stars that would support life as we know it. This work can be used to determine the likelihood of a planet being able to support life based on attributes we can measure from here on Earth.

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Testing the Effects of Resveratrol, Apigenin, and Glucosamine to Effectively Reduce Prostate Cancer Cell Proliferation, Migration Levels, and Increase Apoptosis

Yang et al. | Apr 16, 2020

Testing the Effects of Resveratrol, Apigenin, and Glucosamine to Effectively Reduce Prostate Cancer Cell Proliferation, Migration Levels, and Increase Apoptosis

The current five-year survival rate of metastasized prostate cancer is only 30% and occurs in every one in nine men. Researchers have shown that people with a type of dwarfism called Laron’s Syndrome are immune to cancer due to their low levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). For this reason, experimentally modifying the level of IGF-1 could provide better insight into whether lowering the levels of IGF-1 in prostate cancer cell lines (e.g. PC-3) could be an effective treatment to reduce their rates of proliferation and migration and increase apoptosis. We selected three compounds, which researchers have shown decrease IGF-1 levels, to test and combine to determine which is the most promising.

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Effect of Manuka Honey and Licorice Root Extract on the Growth of Porphyromonas gingivalis: An In Vitro Study

Chandran et al. | Apr 11, 2018

Effect of Manuka Honey and Licorice Root Extract on the Growth of Porphyromonas gingivalis: An In Vitro Study

Chronic bad breath, or halitosis, is a problem faced by nearly 50% of the general poluation, but existing treatments such as liquid mouthwash or sugar-free gum are imperfect and temporary solutions. In this study, the authors investigate potential alternative treatments using natural ingredients such as Manuka Honey and Licorice root extract. They found that Manuka honey is almost as effective as commercial mouthwashes in reducing the growth of P gingivalis (one of the main bacteria that causes bad breath), while Licorice root extract was largely ineffective. The authors' results suggest that Manuka honey is a promising candidate in the search for new and improved halitosis treatments.

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The Effects of Altered Microbiome on Caenorhabditis elegans Egg Laying Behavior

Gohari et al. | Aug 12, 2019

The Effects of Altered Microbiome on <em>Caenorhabditis elegans</em> Egg Laying Behavior

Since the discovery that thousands of different bacteria colonize our gut, many of which are important for human wellbeing, understanding the significance of balancing the different species on the human body has been intensely researched. Untangling the complexity of the gut microbiome and establishing the effect of the various strains on human health is a challenge in many circumstances, and the need for simpler systems to improve our basic understanding of microbe-host interactions seems necessary. C. elegans are a well-established laboratory animal that feed on bacteria and can thus serve as a less complex system for studying microbe-host interactions. Here the authors investigate how the choice of bacterial diet affects worm fertility. The same approach could be applied to many different outcomes, and facilitate our understanding of how the microbes colonizing our guts affect various bodily functions.

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Characterization of Drought Tolerance in Arabidopsis Mutant fry1-6

Kim et al. | Jan 07, 2019

Characterization of Drought Tolerance in Arabidopsis Mutant  fry1-6

In a world where water shortage is becoming an increasing concern, and where population increase seems inevitable, food shortage is an overwhelming concern for many. In this paper, the authors aim to characterize a drought-resistant strain of A. thaliana, investigating the cause for its water resistance. These and similar studies help us learn how plants could be engineered to improve their ability to flourish in a changing climate.

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The Development of a Highly Sensitive Home Diagnosis Kit for Group A Streptococcus Bacteria (GAS)

Mai et al. | Dec 05, 2018

The Development of a Highly Sensitive Home Diagnosis Kit for Group A Streptococcus Bacteria (GAS)

In this article, Mai et al. have developed a do-it-yourself kit for the detection of Strep A bacterial infections. While Strep A infections require antibiotic administration, viral infections, which can present with similar symptoms, often resolve on their own. The problem with delayed antibiotic treatment is an increasing risk of complications. Currently an accurate diagnosis requires that patients make the trip to the hospital where sensitive tests can be performed. The method described here, bundled into a commercially available kit, could help speed up the identification of such bacterial infections. When presented with symptoms of a sore throat and fever, you could just buy the kit at your local pharmacy, perform the simple yet highly accurate and sensitive test, and know whether an urgent trip to the doctor's for an antibiotic prescription is necessary. How convenient!

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Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron Growth Numbers Are Unchanged in the Presence of Yogurt

Phan et al. | Dec 29, 2016

<i>Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron</i> Growth Numbers Are Unchanged in the Presence of Yogurt

Disruptions to the microbiome, specifically the imbalance in the two major phyla, the Firmicutes and the Bacteroidetes, have been linked to the development of obesity. This study explored whether or not Fage plain total 0% Greek yogurt, which contains live and active bacterial cultures belonging to the Firmicute phylum, could decrease the numbers of Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, an organism found in the human gut that belongs to the Bacteroidetes phylum.

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